News Releases

Ithaca College Film Series To Open With 'Gay Pioneers'

ITHACA, NY — The fall season of the Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen series at Ithaca College will open on Wednesday, Aug. 25, with a showing of “Gay Pioneers.” The documentary tells the story of the first organized gay civil rights demonstrations held in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C., beginning in 1965.

Sponsored by the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach, and Services, the theme for this year’s series is “History and Heroes of the LGBT Movement.” All of the screenings will begin at 7 p.m. in Textor 103 and are free and open to the public.

 Wednesday, August 25
“Gay Pioneers”
On July 4, 1965, 40 people carried signs in front of Independence Hall supporting gay emancipation, beginning an annual demonstration that spread to more cities and grew in size over the next several years. “Gay Pioneers” blends archival footage from these seminal demonstrations with interviews from some of those pioneers about the homophobia of that era, the protocol for the demonstrations and how those demonstrations impacted the gay rights movement.

 Wednesday, September 1 (Double Feature)
The courtroom drama behind the case that led the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down all remaining state sodomy laws and launched a new era in the LGBT rights movement.

“One Wedding and a Revolution”
In February 2004, the mayor of San Francisco ordered city officials to allow lesbian and gay couples to get married. Pioneering activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, celebrating their 51st anniversary, had the privilege of being the first couple to tie the knot. 

Wednesday, September 29
“Laramie Inside Out”
In October 1998, Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and left to die. Filmmaker Beverly Seckinger returns to her hometown to see how this event has affected Laramie and its residents.

Wednesday, November 3
“Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria”
The little-known story of the first act of collective, violent resistance to the social oppression of LGBT people in the United States — a 1966 riot in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood three years before the famous Stonewall riots.

Wednesday, December 1
“Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt”
In observance of World AIDS Day, the film documents the first decade of the AIDS epidemic using the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt as its metaphor.

For more information, visit